Can I let you in on a little secret?
You don’t have to be a huge blogger with hundreds of thousands of followers to make money online.
I know. The first time I heard that I thought it was crazy too. There was no way that could be true! I mean, NO WAY! But then, when my blog launched, I made $28 my first month and over $400 my second. (I thought that was pretty gosh darn incredible compared to my friend who had blogged for years and only made $8, right?)
And no, I didn’t already have a huge social media following to turn to or even ads on my blog.
My income came 100% from affiliate marketing. What’s affiliate marketing you ask? It’s where you earn an affiliate commission (whether it’s 1%, 40%, or a flat fee) when someone buys a product from a link that you publish.
Now, I know. You are probably freaked out right now. Very few people, in my experience, love to be salespeople. Most are terrified that they will come across like the guy selling Ginsu Knives on tv at 3:00 am. But before you click away or slam your laptop screen down in fear, listen.
Affiliate marketing is really just talking (in a natural way) about the things you already use and love. And chances are, you are probably already doing that. Think about it. How many times have you gone to see a great movie and then told others to watch it? Or given a restaurant recommendation? That’s really affiliate marketing, except you probably weren’t being paid for it. Here, you are.
So all I did was be very genuine and talk about things that I already loved, and boom! I made referrals.
Often, the biggest complaint I hear from other bloggers is in finding good quality affiliates that pay a decent commission.
So I thought I would help and send to you my must-have list of affiliates. These are “must-haves” because ANY blogger, regardless of what they blog about, can make them work.
So are you ready? Here goes!
Amazon Affiliates– This might seem like a no-brainer for some people, but if you aren’t already an affiliate on Amazon, you have to be! With such a huge variety of items available for purchase, there are tons of products you can recommend and link to on your blog.
Maven– Have you heard about Maven yet? I have this post explaining how Maven works in detail, but basically, you create a list of recommended from a wide variety of stores (like Nordstrom, Williams & Sonoma, etc.), turn them into a board (like on Pinterest), and then share that board on your blog and on social media. This is an awesome (and super easy) way of doing round-ups for gift ideas.
Ultimate Bundles– Ultimate Bundles has such an AMAZING affiliate program, you have to take part! Throughout the year, they put together bundles on a wide variety of topics (parenting, homemaking, blogging, photography, etc.) and then sell those bundles for a limited period of time. The truth is, they basically sell themselves. Not to mention that Ultimate Bundles does all of the hard work for you. They create banners, print copy, sales emails, everything. All you have to do is promote the bundle, and then receive a 40% commission. How easy is that? Maxbounty is an affiliate network, but you are paired with an affiliate manager who may be able to find some affiliate programs for you, even as a new blogger. Remember, if you succeed, then they do as well, so they want to help!
Ebates– Can we talk about how much I love Ebates for a second? I have used them for years and years and years, way before I started blogging. You simply create an Ebates account and then access any store you want to shop at by first going through Ebates. You then receive cash back on every single purchase you make. And the great thing is that Ebates work with lots of stores, so you’re guaranteed to find something that relates to your blog!
Maxbounty– Maxbounty is an affiliate network (there are many out there to choose from), but the difference is that you are paired with an affiliate manager. This person will be able to find some affiliate programs for you, even if you are new to affiliate marketing or new to blogging in general.
ShareASale– This is another affiliate network that works with lots of different companies over a wide range of niches. Etsy is also a part of the ShareASale network, and chances are that you can find something on Etsy to promote!
And last, but not least, I have a dear friend, Susan Gold, who just launched her own line of athletic wear called, vyve. She is looking for affiliates to help promote her products. (To sign up and receive a 35% commission on each sale, go here.)
A year ago, my daughter and I had the privilege of modeling for her, and let me tell you, these are some crazy comfortable clothes! I didn’t want to take them off!
Are you hungry for more affiliate programs, or more that are specific to your niche? Or maybe you want to learn how to be a more successful and authentic affiliate marketer? Then you need to check out the e-course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. Michelle’s course teaches you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing, plus she’s created an amazing list of affiliate programs for a wide variety of niches that you receive when you sign up for the course.
So why learn from Michelle? Well, for two reasons. First, Michelle makes over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing on her blog. Clearly, she knows what she is doing. The second is because someone once reached out to her and said, “I don’t understand how you make $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing. You’ve never sold a single thing through your blog.” Michelle does affiliate marketing in such a natural and authentic way that you can’t even tell that’s what she’s doing. Be sure to sign up for your course; you won’t regret it.
Now, I want to hear from you! What affiliate programs are on your must-have list?
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, click here. Also, if you do utilize a link, THANK YOU!
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